Skip to main content

About this Show

Washington Journal

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

NETWORK

DURATION
02:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Washington 22, John Boehner 21, Us 14, Harry Reid 13, Georgia 13, United States 8, Greece 6, Paul Broun 6, Rick Larsen 4, New York 4, Virginia 4, U.s. 4, Nancy Pelosi 4, Obama 4, Boehner 3, George W. Bush 3, Atlanta 3, Hawaii 3, Chicago 3, Barack Obama 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    December 21, 2012
    7:00 - 9:00am EST  

7:00am
the fiscal deadline negotiations with republican congressman paul broun of georgia. and the public -- and representative rick larsen host: with the house of representatives and the recess, the question being asked is, what happens next? "the washington times" says the collapse of plan b is a disaster for john boehner. an embarrassing setback for the republicans. "the wall street journal" says there are questions for john boehner to lead his party in further negotiations. 10 days before the looming
7:01am
fiscal cliff. this morning we will be taking your calls and comments. we will sort through what happens next. the phone lines are open. send us an e-mail, a facebook comment, or a tweet. let's look at the headlines from "the new york times." a similar headline this morning from "the washington post."
7:02am
maynard dropped the effort to avert the fiscal cliff. -- the john boehner drops the effort to avert the fiscal cliff. this from "the washington -- the wall street journal." the deadline looms with the fiscal cliff, that story available on line. joining us live, meredith who has been following this since it started. what happened to the caucus last night? caller: there is the surface answer, what happened when they were leaving the room. i think the most telling detail and what you have seen and the most outlets is that apparently
7:03am
when the speaker calls one of these meetings, it is so he can gen of the final votes and try to get enough votes to pass an initiative. that was not even the purpose of this particular session. he was calling them in to tell them they were not going to have the votes and to go home for christmas. that is a telling detail that apparently the speaker got in front of the room and said the serenity prayer. god, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change and it -- then he sent them home for christmas. he just walked straight out of the capital.
7:04am
it was stunning, actually. it was not surprising that the republicans could not find the votes for this. we saw in the summer of 2011. the speaker tried to move his own bill, he could not find the votes. they stayed in session until past midnight and did not have the votes. this has been something that has happened throughout the congress. this is a huge blow to the speaker. it was a move highly challenged by democrats. the white house was upset he was going on his own and doing this. the strategic purpose was to prove that he could and to get his members to vote for a rise in any sort of tax rates. also because it might have started the legislative process more in earnest. the negotiations so far have
7:05am
been focused on a speaker john boehner and the president. had he been able to pass this, you might have some more of a congress led we have seen in every other as a decision before with speaker john boehner having to make a deal with leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell to try to find something that might get enough votes. host: but the follow up on two. . in terms of negotiations, this poses a real question on the future of the speaker shift -- speakership of john boehner. is that and jeopardy this morning? caller: i am always reluctant to make those kind of claims. i think the speaker still has allies of in the caucus. i think it is hard to tell and somebody who wants to hold that position. i have never been of the believe that eric cantor would be able
7:06am
to successfully challenge the speaker if the speaker wanted to hold his position. you have to imagine it is extraordinarily frustrating to have a caucus where they are not seeing the kind of responsibilities that they're going to have to have and the compromises they will have to make after not being able to expand the majority in the house and not being able to win back the white house or the senate. maybe speaker john boehner does not want to do it anymore. i do not know. it is too soon to say the speaker -- his speakership is in danger. i imagining this is not a high point for him. there will have to be some soul- searching in the republican party, not just to the leader is but how they are going to govern and move forward. maybe this is the low that was necessary to try to move forward
7:07am
and a constructive way. there does not seem to be a plan to do that right now. host: yesterday the speaker of the house issued the statement. here are his words. the house did not take up the my final question to you is, what happens next? who takes the lead in negotiations? where will the president the? who on the senate side will be in the renegotiation? caller: i think what happens immediately as people will go home for the holiday. i do not see how any sort of
7:08am
deal will get struck before christmas. as you know, there is a ceremony at 10:00 this morning at the national cathedral. the president and vice president are scheduled to be there. many members of congress are scheduled to be there. a sunday service in honolulu. given how long it takes to get to hawaii, the earliest lawmakers would be able to return, harry reid is planning to go to hawaii, is first thing monday morning. that is christmas eve. there is really not a lot of time to bargain. it looks possible, but the politicians could be leading the government has the fiscal cliff. the question is, how the negotiation works, which is key. i think it will end up being
7:09am
something between speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell, and harry reid. they will have to find something they can pass through the senate and send it to john boehner and john boehner will be able to sell that saying, these guys past it. we have to do this. until there is a deal, this is going to be a blame game of who is at fault for not finding an agreement. the house republicans cannot be stuck with it, which is what i think the statement was indicative of a. host: thank you very much for being with us here on "washington journal." let's take a look at some of your comments. first on the facebook page.
7:10am
let's get to your calls and comments with the fiscal cliff and sequestration. the deadline looming one week and a half away. what happens next? we will go to larry from mississippi. caller: good morning. the republicans are for big business and the rich. the president and the democrats are for the middle class. oil and water do not mix. we know where the republicans stand. when all of the -- when oil and water does not mix, you have to
7:11am
scrape the oil off of the top. host: next is patrick from florida on the independent line. caller: good morning. first off, i would like to say that i do not know why c-span does not start with the facts and and get people's opinion. social security for instance, i think it was you that was showing a film about roosevelt. you have people come on and say, 15 people were paying an and pete -- 15 people were not getting payouts. that was true. everybody that paid was not eligible for the benefits. eisenhower added the disability benefit. nixon added the cost of living adjustments. ronald reagan had one of the biggest increases of social security taxes. you act like social security never changed from the 1930's.
7:12am
what i would like to say about the fiscal cliff is that you bring out all of these republicans, t baggers, whatever from southern red states, they have the worst health as far as obesity, high blood pressure -- which adds to medicare and medicaid spending. they have some of the worst school districts with no schools antidote jobs. -- notes skills and no jobs. you just seemed to be like a propaganda outlet -- outlet. host: appreciate your comment. i could not disagree with the board. we appreciate that. the market is pointing downward today. cnbc with an eye on what happened last night. friday could be a tense day as a
7:13am
resolution on the fiscal cliff appears less likely in the final trading days of the year. stock futures falling sharply. belle features seeing triple digit losses thursday evening. -- dow futures with a triple digit losses. the cliff is more than $500 billion in taxes and spending cuts that will start hitting the economy january 1 if congress does not act. they are expecting a compromise between house republicans and the white house it will head off the worst effects and lead to bigger tax cuts and tax increases and the budget discussions in the new year. maggie is joining us from the republican line. caller: it is now up to harry reid and the president to decide
7:14am
what they're going to do. the republicans sent bills to harry reid months ago. he has ignored them. there are playing this stupid game, i go so it not sure why, i guess they thought they were going to get their own way. they were going to put everything off until after the election. the country does not stop just because there is going to be an election. i think they all need to get together, sit down, get this worked out, otherwise a lot of people are going to be very hurt when the taxes go up. that is all i have to say. host: a couple of headlines from "the atlanta journal constitution." we are getting calls and comments. what happens next? congress is an recess.
7:15am
the senate will be attending many funeral services for the senator who passed away earlier this week. we will have live coverage on c- span 2. the nra with a scheduled conference. we will have live coverage of that also here on this network. robert is on the phone from oklahoma on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. thank you and t why by angels for c-span. my comment is simply about something simple, we can do better than this. the better is, we live in one place. we live in one place called the united states of america. we can agree to have balance. my final comment is, we can all be winners. what is so hard with that? i am from the east. i have lived here since 17.
7:16am
what is wrong with this place in terms of why we cannot do better? host: how would he respond to your own question? caller: we know about the very poor, the very rich. i love the fact i can make a lot of money, but the other side is i work as a social services person with food banks, being part of housing and homeless. we can do much better. we have to understand each other. that is my comment. host: to life for the call. from our twitter page. -- thank you for the call. front page of "the washington times."
7:17am
from thehill.com. house republicans announced the house will be back after the christmas holiday. the house concluded business, that was a statement from kevin mccarthy. the announcement coming moments after speaker john boehner said it is up to the president and senate democrats to work on legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff. next is peter from highland park, new jersey on the independent line. caller: good morning. i have two points. one your desk brought up about this eric cantor fellow who wants to stick a knife and john boehner's back. i firmly believe that these tea
7:18am
party people are really anarchists and they want to bring the country to its knees. they should not get away with it. they are really the american al qaeda. they will try to bring this country to its knees of less john boehner and some of those tea party people wake up. another thing about eric cantor. most of these guns we get up here in the new york area according to beer bloomberg, they all come from virginia. -- according to mayor bloomberg it, they all come from virginia. i suggest if people are really serious about these guns, they take their first amendment rights and they take their second amendment rights by going down to virginia and buying some of those bushmaster automatic weapons and lock and load and march around his house and see
7:19am
how he likes it. this guy, he is a millionaire, and he wants to be the speaker of the house. the tea party people -- they are crazy. they are ready to take the kool- aid and take us with them. bring the whole country to its knees, over what? the difference between $100,000.200000 dollars for millionaires? how sick are the regular republicans who will go along with this? host: joe is calling us from north carolina on the republican line. caller: i think it is like the best piece of literature ever written was open " we the people." it is time we start acting as one. if we move separately, we do the move at all.
7:20am
host: how do you resolve this issue? how do you get a compromise if there is one on the fiscal cliff? caller: we know the trouble we are in. we have to go forward. you have to put your political ideology behind yourself. and just like if you have a child that has a cygnus, you are going to do what you have to do to take care of it. -- if you have a child that has a sickness, you are right to have to do what you have to do to take care of it. as far as this woman with the assault weapons, m-14 30.6/ do you consider those assault weapons or do you just consider them the 30 round clips -- you can have a speed changer on your revolver. you can change it as quick as a nine round clip. this is ridiculous. we are people that just love to argue about nonsense.
7:21am
it is about time we move forward, one baby step in front of the other. for the call.u apiece many people are reading on this friday morning. syndicated across the country, the roots of mass murder. every mass shooting has three elements, we will hear much more on this as the nra holds a news
7:22am
conference that will get under way at about 10:45 eastern time. live coverage on this network and also strained on the internet at c-span.org. will the speaker survived plan c? has there been a house speaker in modern history with less control over his members and john boehner? passing a backup plan that would extend the bush tax cuts for all and come under $1 million. john boehner lost the vote in a dramatic turn of events on the house floor. the failure of plan b proves something important. john boehner does not have enough support to pass any bill that passes taxes, even one meant to block a larger tax increase. the house is now adjourned until after christmas. it is clear what plan c will be.
7:23am
john boehner will have to accept the reality that he needs to begin passing legislation with democratic votes. charlotte north carolina on the democrats' line. caller: we are going to have to figure it out. they have to put revenue on the table. there is no question about it. there should not be a plan . it should have been a plan a. i agree with a guy in florida about the southern states on social security. i do not know what the republicans are thinking. they should not have even had a plan b or c. it should have been planned a. president obama went in, he is speaking, they need to listen and follow. he is a leader. plan b or c should not be
7:24am
happening. host: harry reid's spokesperson issued the statement last night. next is joe from iowa. caller: good morning. steve, hello. yes, i was just wondering, i think what it all boils down to -- was talking about this for a second. the republicans are the koch brothers' henchmen. there are looking out for
7:25am
themselves. that is what they cannot raise the money on the riches. the coke brothers -- koch brothers is the issue. caller: my first comment would be, how far do the left do you have to be to think that c-span is right wing? i own several assault weapons. the m-13 is a 10.08 and ted kennedy's car has killed more people that my gun. for any of these people who voted for obama read "drams of my father?" when you break it, you can fix it. these democrats think all you have to do is tax the rich, the rich have to make payroll, pay insurance -- the money has to come from somewhere. there will be laying people off.
7:26am
these people that call in and think the republicans are so stupid -- how about george soros who gives millions upon millions to the left? host: ok. thank you for the call. from "the wall street journal."
7:27am
that is what we are asking this morning. what happens next? tunney is joining us from henderson, north carolina. -- tony is joining us from henderson, north carolina. caller: they think the president is going to start negotiating against himself? he did that 40 dead years. he is not going to do it again. this speaker, they're not going to do anything different. eric cantor is not going to lead this party. the leadership in the republican party is in the media, it is not in the washington anymore. this president is not going to be negotiating against himself to get the president -- the speaker of trouble. host: from the national journal
7:28am
-- he jetted out of the room where they were holed up and walked by journalists and delivered the news that the house speaker's plan had suffered a mortal wound. would there be a vote tonight? no. plan b -- the speaker said it would pass -- it failed to win enough support in the conference. the details followed quickly after house republicans walked by and confirmed the speaker's efforts to persuade members failed. next is chris from ohio on the independent line. caller: good morning. i would like to make -- my first
7:29am
point is that john boehner and president obama i need to back down. this hyperpolarized, hyper partisanship, it is not working. back in the day we had a four party system. we had conservatives and liberals on both sides of the aisle. they need to work together. i think the first up would be to get all of these -- the first step is to get all of the special interests out of there. there are 20 special interest people per member of congress. there are over 20 lobbyists per person in congress. how can they do anything when all they're trying to do is raise money for political campaigns?
7:30am
host: thank you for the call. two headlines we want to share. funeral services getting under way this morning. 10:30 eastern time. the president and vice president will be in attendance. the final burial will take place sunday in hawaii. next is surely on the republican line. -- shirley. caller: thank you for taking my call. i give john boehner a lot of credit. he is trying so hard to make the president understand that we cannot spend what we do not
7:31am
have and we cannot keep borrowing. i do not know why that is so hard for anybody to understand it. you have to keep in mind since the president has been in office, we have not had a balanced budget. i think most people will agree that in every home that is run properly, you need a budget and the government needs a budget. you cannot just keep running and borrowing to do everything you want to do. the american people are sick of it. they need to get together and decide what they are going to do. they need to get a balanced budget. they need to quit spending what they do not have. and they need to get this thing done before the end of the year. host: thank you for the call. from our facebook page --
7:32am
join us on our facebook page. a couple of other editorials we want to share with you. from "the new york post." on the other side from "the washington post."
7:33am
beverly is joining us from illinois on the democrats' line. what happens next? caller: hello. i think what needs to happen next -- i am a democrat and i support the president. i respect the president of the united states no matter who they are and whether i agree with him or not. what happens next? i will tell you what. i do not know. here is why i do not know. we are not acting like americans altogether. we have a series of terrible events offer this year. it has been one thing after another. the president has walked into a
7:34am
situation, and it is almost like he is all alone and he walks through a dark place. he is not getting much help. the situation was not caused by him. he is trying his best to solve it. we have to work together. i will tell you that i am not very -- i feel very sad. i have watched the election. i have watched everything and tried to be informed it. where are they coming from? where are we coming from? what i see is all of this craziness. i do not know what else to call it. host: from "the new york times" --
7:35am
this statement from jay carney issued after the house failed to vote last night. the president was the main priority the president here in washington today attending a funeral services at the national cathedral. we're joined from montana on the independent line. caller: good morning. it has been a long time since i have called in. one of my biggest pet peeves is
7:36am
what is going on here is the size of our military. our military covers the world. it attacks corporations that do not pay taxes to the united states dollar around the world. people are led into going to war. you count the words from vietnam to kuwait to iraq -- every one of them has been a lie. everybody in congress has done it. that is wasted money. at least $1 trillion a in the iraq war and our blood spread on the sand. it gives profits to oil companies that keep their gas prices high while they are making $40 billion a quarter and we are giving them $150 million a year subsidies or welfare. their sons and daughters fight in the war for an education because they did not have enough
7:37am
money like people do to send their kids to school. host: thank you for the call from montana. this is from "the wall street journal."
7:38am
joyce from chicago. caller: good morning. how are you doing today? i hope your family a sleeping well. i have not talked to you in about one year and i am glad you excepted my phone call. i am talking about the public deficit. i talked about this one year ago. the interest rate is eating it up. i would like people of the united states to ask the president and congress if they could take the interest rate of the deficit just for christmas to new years for peace. we cannot catch up -- americans do pay. we do fall down, but we get up. we are honest people. i said my money, the interest
7:39am
rate is leading the money up. we love america. our children have fought for this country and we have brought our children back home. my grandson was in the navy. i am tired of arguing about the rich, poor, and middle-class. take the interest rate of the public debt for six days so we could see our money prosper. america, we stand in peace. god bless you. please, thank the rich because they are our investors to invest all over the world. stop fighting among each other. congress, you are a citizen, a consumer, and tax payer and you need to get on your jobs. host: thank you for the call from chicago. let me read a statement from the speaker of the house. the house will be in recess
7:40am
until after the holidays. the speaker meeting with his caucus and afterwards, these words. this photograph from the front page of "the new york times." brady from grand prairie, tex as. caller: i have a question. host: there is a slight delay.
7:41am
turn the volume down on your tv set. caller: the question i have is, obama has to quit spending money that is not necessary. host: to live for the call. we will go to billy. -- thank you for the call. caller: i have a couple of questions. one on the fair tax that has been presented. that would take care of a lot of issues, but it keeps getting ignored. i guess i an not as smart as it does up there. obamacare was pushed through, and it was passed to the american people. yet you guys are exempt from that. i am curious why. it does not make any sense to me. if you want to help do that, why not take a pay cut?
7:42am
out here in the world of work in industry, if they do not make money and the what the employee to continue to work, they have to agree to take a pay cut or somebody has to lose a job. you guys sit there and get six- figure incomes every year and sit there and bitch and cmplain about stuff. host:you are talking about members of congress. caller: yes, i am not directing that directly at you. i apologize. the whole realm of government employment, basically. they continue to take money from us as taxpayers and we have to pay their bills. they write all the tax codes into law so they did not have to pay taxes. yet they take the money out of our pockets and keep giving increases to themselves. why cannot take a pay cut like i have to do? host: paul broun is a member of
7:43am
congress. we will have a conversation with them coming up later as we dig into some of the details about what happened last night and where things go from here. congress shut down until after christmas. the house and senate convening a run the 27th at 28th of december next week. here is a headline. a lot for congress to deal with when they come back next week. earl from iowa.
7:44am
caller: how are you doing this morning. the whole thing of it is, with 2005 when the bush sat there and said the poor is going to give poor and the rich will get richer. they have a noose around obama's neck and he cannot do anything. when mitt romney said on the republican side they have to stop them, that is what they're doing right now. we have to look at it like this. we are over the fiscal cliff anyway. we are falling short. we do not have jobs out here to support anything going on economically. what we have to do is do what obama said in 2008 which is get rid of wal-mart and sam's club and put in the targets and kmart's so we can have a deficit that will grow.
7:45am
there will be a situation where what we need is for medicare and for social security. we cannot bring back the troops because they have to stay there to protect the united states. host: thank you for the call. a story from politico.com. president obama dispatched mitt romney a little more than a month ago but now faces an unpredictable new threat, a deeply divided house gop that does not want to bargain with him. he held the election what unclog the courts in washington he thought he would be free because he did not have to run again and republicans did not have to run against him. it was a reminder of how close his future is tethered to his political rivals. if john boehner cannot muscle his own a bill through the house, it appears greatly
7:46am
diminished. that means it might be tough for the president to forge any agreement with house republicans to avert the fiscal cliff this year or push through the second agenda in the years to come. the path for root unclear even to senior officials late thursday. -- looked unclear. ted is on the line. as a republican, what advice would you give your party? caller: we should have a flat tax across the board. host: that is it? caller: yes. host: short and simple. we will continue the conversation on the fiscal cliff and sequestration, what happens next? your calls and comments to paul broun and later rick larson as "washington journal."
7:47am
live coverage at 10:30 for the funeral services taking place here at the national cathedral. that is to pay tribute to senator daniel inouye. he has been in congress for more than 50 years. the president and vice president will pay tribute today at the washington national could trip -- cathedral. [video clip] >> he always had the moral courage to do the right thing. he had a compass that always directed him to his true north. a resolve to do a truly extraordinary things, things that few women or men ever contemplate or consider doing that. we all know on 1945, i had the
7:48am
privilege of being with him. we stopped with bob dole as well. they were on a mountain top, literally as the crow flies, i think it was only two miles on the same day, both mortally wounded in fighting for their country. just above the bridges above custody. because of danny's sense of honor, that is the only thin i can ascribe it to. his loyalty first and foremost to his platoon, to the men he had sworn he would protect. he would do everything in his power to protect them. this is a man who kept fighting
7:49am
on that ridge even after his arm was severed. crying a grenade out of his severed arm and charging the next machine gun nest, taking it out in the process saving his men. he was awarded the medal of honor for incredible bravery. he did not do it because he was brave. he did it because he was loyal. he did it because of a sense of duty. he did it because this was his country. robert could have been talking about danny when he said -- when will the fis fear, when duty
7:50am
throws the gauntlet down to fete, when honor scorns to compromise with the death, that is heroism. in every sense of the word, he was a hero. host: we welcome paul broun from the 10th congressional district. the headline from your hometown newspaper -- what happened inside the caucus last night at 7:30? guest: it was the shortest caucus i ever seen. he said he did not have the votes. we have passed two of bills that harry reid has been sitting on
7:51am
over in the senate. it is up to the senate and the president to avoid the fiscal cliff we are facing on january 1. he is available to negotiate. mr. eric cantor said we would be called back within 48 hours notice. see you after christmas. that is all was. host: is the speaker negotiating on the position of strength? guest: the speaker has been negotiating as much as he can with -- i think the president has not been dealing in good faith and has not been negotiating at all. he has given us a plan that was basically his budget that was voted on in the senate. 99-0 against his budget. in the house he does zero votes for it also. that is what the president put on the table. i do not think he has been negotiating in good faith at all. we need to find solutions to the
7:52am
fiscal problems that america faces, and it is spending. it is not taxes, it is spending. republicans across the board are not for raising taxes on anyone. the president one year or so ago said in a bad economy which should not raise taxes on anyone. that is exactly what i believe, and that is what the republican party believes. we should not raise taxes on family businesses that are creating jobs. i have a small business, and i will give you an example in my district, that even if we raise taxes on the so-called millionaire's -- and he is not a millionaire. he is a family business. he files income taxes on his personal 1040 forms. he is trying to put money away. he will not do it because of the tax increases.
7:53am
he would hire over 100 new people and a lot would pay over $100,000 a year, but he cannot do it because of obamacare taxes as well as taxes that are being proposed. i have another businessman who has five employees because of the tax increases. he told me he will have to shut down altogether. we should not rest taxes on anybody. we need to stop spending. spending is the problem. it is not we are being taxed too little. the federal government spends too much. we have to have some real spending cuts. that is the only thing that will get the economy back on track to create jobs and head in a positive direction. host: let me put a couple of issues on the table. we will also get your calls and comments . andplan b came to the floor, -- if plan b came to the floor,
7:54am
would you vote for it? guest: know, that would not solve anything. host: what pressure were you getting from the speaker? guest: none. mr. bhoener talk to three of us from georgia and was laying out his thoughts about plan b. that was essentially nancy pelosi's plan and speaker john boehner brought it to the floor hoping that since nancy pelosi proposed raising taxes on the so-called millionaire's that we could get enough of votes from the democrats and republicans to pass it. that was his hope. the thing is, that will not solve the problem. host: the big a back to the core issue. it has increased $4 trillion under this president. it has also increased under
7:55am
george to be bush and republican congress because medicare pardee was not paid for, the oars were not paid for. is it not both parties to sit, we are at fault. we need to come together and cut spending and we need to raise taxes in some areas because we have not done it for 12 years? guest: it is both parties fall. i have said that publicly. in the past six years since nancy pelosi became speaker of the house, we have nearly doubled the federal debt. president obama has increased it over $4 trillion. that is the problem. it is spending. it is not that we are taxing too little, it is we are spending too much. host: does it not go back to the temporary tax cuts put in place by george w. bush that were supposed to expire that have been extended?
7:56am
putting on the table, is the deficit has increased, but it began under george the b. bush and republican control of congress. -- george w. bush. could you fix it by just cutting spending? guest: absolutely. i am a medical doctor. let's just compare this to a disease. if you have a strep throat and you come to me running a fever and feeling bad and i look at you and i diagnose you as having a strep throat and i say, go home and take some tylenol or a leave to bring your fever down, that will not cure the strep throat. the problem with the financial problems today is not we are taxing too little, but we are spending too much. we have to cut the spending that both parties have put forward. i agree with that.
7:57am
we have increased spending. george w. bush did. i have been critical of the increase spending put forward by the bush administration. we have really increase spending during this administration. we have to reduce spending. we are heading down the same path that greece did. right now the democrats are talking about raising taxes on the top 2%. if we do not stop the spending, we will be back here again maybe one year from now saying, maybe we need to raise taxes on the top 25% or 50%. then everybody will be taxed and we will run out of money. what is going to happen is the federal government is not going to be able to take care of its obligations. you are not going to be able to have safety nets. social security and medicare are going broke. we have to fix those of those who are dependent on those systems can get them.
7:58am
continuing to spend money like both parties have been doing the, wild spending is going to lead us to be just like greece. we are not going to be able to take care of the poor or the needy or take care of senior citizens. we have to stop spending. host: this is fiscal year 2010, but it has not changed significantly in terms of percentage. 41% of the federal budget. not defense appropriations 19%. defense spending 20%. the national debt 6%. we're in this area do you cut? guest: across the whole circle. it is not the discretionary spending. it is everything in that pie that you have there that we need to deal with. we need to fix social security, medicare because they are going broke. my democrat colleagues are in
7:59am
the nile. they have a 4d policy regarding social security and medicare. they deny it is a problem, the late fixing it, they are going to destroy the programs because they are denying and delaying it, and the fourth is they are demonizing those of us who want to try to fix it. we need to fix it so it is -- so social security and medicare are available for those people who need it. we have to put in place policy that will do so. the democrats have been totally against doing so. host: are you worried the perception of people who say the republicans are just trying to protect the rich? that is part of the reality out there. guest: i know that because that is what the president has been saying. i do not what the taxes to go up on anybody. right now we are talking about
8:00am
is taxing the millionaires and billionaires. let me give you a statistic. the top 2% are those making above $250,000 a year. if we tax everybody making above $250,000 a year at 100%, taking all of their income, we could only fund the federal government 91 days. that is because we're spending too much. we have to cut spending. everybody is going to be taxed. we are talking about the top 2% now. then it is going to be the top 50%, 75%, and then 100% in this country are going to be taxed. margaret thatcher said the bad thing about socialism, big
8:01am
government, is eventually you run out of money from those who are producing. that is where we are headed in this country. we are headed to a situation in this country just like greece today. host: why not just print more money to fix the fiscal cliff? they do it for everything else anyway. guest: we have quantitative where they aren just printing more money. that makes everyone's dollars in their pocket worth less. eventually our dollars are going to be worthless if we do not stop printing money. we are headed to being in the same situation with riots in the street just like greece has today because we will not be able to take care of the port and the elderly. that is what we're going --
8:02am
where we're going. it is going to be taxing everybody in this country. that is what the republican party stands for. host: our conversation with congressman paul broun, now in his third term. louise is on the democrats' line. good morning. caller: good morning. you have a million folks calling you pa. guest: i am a medical doctor and i did my internship at good samaritan hospital in portland. i love oregon. where you live down there is just absolutely -- caller: we go without
8:03am
electricity a lot been very guest: thank you for calling. caller: i just wanted to say that president obama unfortunately -- i am a democrat and a hard in true believer in caring and living the words that were spoken by jesus and every other holy man about loving each other. he has given in eight times more to go along with the republican party that has said absolutely no to everythingi saw teh statistics -- everything. i saw the statistics of how much of the ultra wealthy would hav eto pay. it is in minuscule amount of money they are payicomplaining
8:04am
about. lots and lots of wealthy americans are denouncing their american citizenship so they do not have to pay any taxes in america. as far as these kids in sandy, my oldest daughter told me we are going to see lots more of these things unless kids are given a better future to hope for rather than being some rich person's slave. host: thank you for the call. guest: you are right. the rich, no matter what the tax level, they have a way of getting around their taxes. that goes back to the point i was saying. it is not about what level of rate we put taxes on individuals. we have to reduce spending them big she said obama has given in to republicans paying bank i am
8:05am
not sure what he has given in on. he has not been at the table and then he has been traveling all over the country promoting raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires and then doing their fair share. spending is causing this problem. spending levels and the debt is what is creating this poor economy and the recovery we have seen. obama's failed policies have created such a soft economy today. we have to start dealing with the spending the event we have to treat the problem. that is the outrageous spending we have increased the federal debt by almost double over the left six years they've been both parties have guilt.
8:06am
i have been very critical of my own party with spending money we don't have been very it is time to really focus on the true solution. that is starting to reduce the size and scope of government and to deal with the spending problem when this recession started, and all of the u.s. department of transportation, there was one federal bureaucrat that made over $175,000 a year. 18 months later, there was 1690 bureaucrats making above $170,000 a year. that is just not sustainable. right now today in the u.s. department of education, average salary across the board in the federal department of education, the average salary is
8:07am
$102,000 a year. isaverage teacher's salary $42,000 the year, less than half of what federal bureaucrats are making. most of them have never talked a child to read. we need to leave those dollars in the hands of the states and the people and let the teachers be able to teach. i have been very critical of president bush with notes have left behind -- no child left behind. i hear teachers all over the country i have talked to and they all agree with me we need to get rid of no child left behind. we need to leave those dollars in the hands of the states and the people, and that is one area of spending where we could do
8:08am
so. students would be in a whole lot better situation. the education level is dropping because we are paying an average. crack in the department of education $102,000 a year. we need to leave those dollars to the states so we can pay the teachers and educate our students. that is an example of how we can cut spending. host: if you are listening on c- span radio, our guest is congressman paul broun. after plan b failed in the house last night, we are asking him and others what happens next. our next call is on the republican line. thank you for waiting. caller: representative cannot let it go over the cliff. let these democrats who want all these programs like school
8:09am
lunch, breakfast for their kids in the morning -- let them learn what taxes are than they let them start paying for this stuffmake them pay. gridlock.re about i do not want another law passed then they all you do is take our rights away than they obama has to go on television and talk about gun control came gues. guest: i do not want to go off the cliff because it is going to hurt everybody paying big it is going to hurt poor people and seniors more than anyone else paying been the policies of this administration are hurting those people paying been out president
8:10am
and his administration have said they want gas prices and energy prices to go up. the president said his policies would necessarily skyrocket prices of energy. if prices go to $10 a gallon, who gets hurt the most? or people and senior citizens on limited income -- poor people and senior citizens on a limited income. all of us were talking about how we can solve the problems and that is what. the real problem we have here is both parties have spent focusing on the real solution. we have to do it today. i have called the plans i have
8:11am
seen from my democrat colleagues as well as the president -- i have called it the wimpy solution. people might remember the wimply cartoon from popeye. well, "give us more money today so we can spend more money today, and then we will pay you tomorrow." those cuts never come. isald reagan and tip o'neill a good example of that. ronald reagan agreed to $1 increase in taxes and was supposed to get $3 in spending cuts. he got $3 increase in spending with $1 of spending cuts. historically, what has happened is if we have $1 increase of taxes for anybody, congress has spent, too.
8:12am
the president has proposed increasing potboilers in spending for every dollar the increases in taxes. we have to focus on spending. host: we have had two references on the nra and gun control. this is from "the washington post" this morning -- up about essethe outlines some e problems facing our society -- he outlines some of the problems facing our society than they do you support any of these new laws. guest: it is too soon to be looking at those types of issues. what happened in connecticut is outrageous. it is horrible.
8:13am
all of us are just very saddened. we all need to pray for the whole nation. what happened there not only affected the people in the state of connecticut but all americans. host: should somebody who is clearly unstable have access to these high-powered rifles? guest: i do not all the facts about what happened there about guns. we should not be talking about gun control. we need to let the country start healing and then looking at what the real root causes of this horrible murder was all about. host: what are those root causes? guest: i don't know and it obviously he was mentally unstable.
8:14am
it has been reported that what made him snap was that his mom was going to get him committed to a mental institution. as a medical doctor, if a parent was concerned about their child or if i saw a patient i was concerned about hurting themselves or someone else, i couldn't detain them. the sheriff would go pick them up and it would go to a mental institution and evaluated for 72 hours. if they were a danger to themselves or others, they would be kept so they could not hurt themselves or other people. we cannot do that today because the federal court system has said we can't. that is wrong. we need to look at dealing with mental illness. we need to look at all of the systemic problems with our
8:15am
society, and we need to find solutions so this does not happen. we will see what happens, what the president is setting up in his panel that he is setting up. i think it is too soon to talk about specific solutions because we do not know what the problems were or how to cure those problems so this does not happen again. host: it sounds like you would not support any new gun restrictions laws. guest: i do not think that will solve the problem. germany has the strongest gun- control laws in the world paying big in chin. in china, individuals cannot own any arms. we have the same kinds of violent situations going on. in connecticut they had some of
8:16am
the strongest gun-control laws in the country and it still occurred there. let's look at the problems that caused this to occur. let's focus on solving those problems instead of just saying it is guns. right now today in connecticut, also weapons -- an assault weapon is a machine gun. they are already controlled. someone cannot just go to the store and buy an assault weapon today. it is not about clips or number of rounds in a gun. we have to focus upon those problems that caused this young man to snap, to kill his mom. i cannot imagine that. and then go and kill six-year oldss. the guns did not make him do that. the guns were not evil.
8:17am
he is evil, his act is evil. we need to deal with what caused the problems. i don't think the guns caused it. host: back to your home state of georgia, james is on the phone on the independent line. caller: just a few things. georgia is last on the bottom of the education. you are doing nothing to help the people of georgia. ronald reagan, you talked about him. what is going on with these red states with guys like you who are in all white districts, you are protesting against president obama because you were raised in a time when you thought you were better than everyone else. taxes need to be raised.
8:18am
also, reagan redressed and it changed social security. taxes need to be raced. georgia is one of the poorest states. guest: thank you for the call, james. i am not protesting president obama. i think his policies have failed. you talk about education and bank in georgia, the average teacher salary i think is $54,000 a year. in georgia, it is $52,815 a year. nationwide, the average teacher's salary is $44,000 a year so we are paying our teachers in georgia a higher average salary than the national average. you are right.
8:19am
the educational system in georgia is one of the lowest. why is that? we have to focus on those problems paying than president reagan was a big spender but he had a democrat congress to deal with for six of the eight years he was president been in federal spending doubled under the reagan administration even when you discount the military bill to try to help us get rid of the soviet union as an enemy. even if you discount that, federal spending skyrocketed under the reagan administration. we can improve the education of kids in georgia and across this country by getting rid of the department of education, letting those dollars stay in the hands of our government there in georgia.
8:20am
improve the education of our kids but it is not by building a bigger department of education. i have been very critical of the bush administration as well as this administration. i am trying to find solutions to the problems so your kids and all the kids in this nation can have a great education. leader.ave thbe the world's i am trying to find some common sense solutions to these problems. host: david is on the phone on a line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to say rest in peace for those in sandy hook. i think there is too much time
8:21am
spent focusing on the problems and not on the solutions. i think if they had a gun buyback program or they are given incentives -- where they are given incentives. either way, you had a voucher system like when you buy housing or basic living needs or child support, people would turn in their guns. this allows people to -- the reason people are buying guns is because they are terrified. they would willingly pay because they will not have to worry so much about losing their homes and they could pay for their child support and school loans. guest: one of your comments is
8:22am
absolutely right. the answer is or isn't everybody's level of income and producing good paying jobs across this country. the real solution is to have good paying jobs. high paying jobs and an educational system that will help people have the skills to be able to fulfill those good paying jobs and provide this opportunities for folks. the gun buyback programs have created more problems because when you do so, the criminal element will go and steal guns and then come sell them. where we have had these programs, it has not worked to curb crime. the gun control measures have not curbed crime. georgia participated in a very interesting social experiment.
8:23am
a number of decades ago, there was a small community outside of chicago that passed a city ordinance or you could not own a gun. that, a small community outside of atlanta passed a city ordinance requiring every household to own a gun. they had an exception for those who had a conscientious objection to owning a gun, but what happened? the crime rate skyrocketed. why? because the criminals knew that the citizens could not protect themselves. the criminals went to places where the criminals could carry out their activities and do their stealing and things
8:24am
without having the danger of someone trying to protect their property or their lives. the crime rate went up markedly in that area. the real solutions -- i am working on solutions. both parties are guilty of spending money we do not have. we have to stop that and we have to start looking at areas of the federal government where we can send those dollars back to the states. my job under the constitution as it was intended was to come into washington making sure we have a strong national defense, making sure our foreign affairs are at the best interest of this country, voting on the 18 things that article 1 section 8 gives us the authority to vote on and then going back home and practicing medicine. that is what our founding
8:25am
fathers meant for our government to be. we have created this huge problem of the government spending too much. we are spending too much and we have to find ways to solve the problem so that the poor and needy in this country have the safety net that they desperately need to make sure they are ok and find public policy at all levels -- federal, state, and local -- that takes care of all the problems that we have is a nation. i am not just protesting or talking about the problems. i am talking about real solutions. thes totally get rid of department of education. let's let parents and teachers run the educational system instead of some bureaucrat here in washington who is making on
8:26am
average $102,000 a year and has never caught anybody to read. let's let teachers and parents be involved in the educational system of their kids. we have to start starving the problems in this country in a different way -- solving the problems in this country in a different way. host: will he stay on the job early next year? guest: i think speaker boehner is doing the best job that he can. the president has not been coming to the table in negotiations. it is my understanding that the president did not even talk to speaker boehner until the last few days. the president got zero votes in the senate, zero votes in the house, and that is his solution? no. the president has not been negotiating in good faith.
8:27am
he needs to do so. harry reid has thrown in the trash can good policies we passed in the house with bipartisan support. we passed 35 or 40 bills that would create millions of new jobs, a stronger economy, would lower the cost of gasoline. it goes over to the senate, and harry reid throws them in the trash can. they have had very few votes in the senate. harry reid will not negotiate. harry reid and barack obama are nowhere to be found. speaker boehner has been doing the best he can to try to find a solution. when harry reid and barack obama will not come to the table, how will we find a solution? host: our last call comes from south carolina.
8:28am
guest: who knows how big that is? that is huge. no one can get their mind around $16.50 trillion. let me tell you what that means. every single citizen in this country, even babies just been born, they are part of that federal debt. over $50,000 per citizen in this country. it is not sustainable. we have to start dealing with that debt. it is going to take all of our taxes. instead of talking about 2%, next time we're going to be talking about 50%.
8:29am
we're going to be just like greece because we are not going to be able to provide the services that we need to provide. host: good morning, the republican line. caller: i am just so frustrated as a republican because this whole fight in congress is doing nothing but driving the republicans off the cliff because what is happening is the democrats are smart and they are letting the republicans self- destructive. because you cannot make the case -- you keep talking about small business, small business. i know you are from georgia. you guys need to understand and realize that dog don't hunt.
8:30am
guest: what i am fighting for is family businesses and families and poor people and senior citizens on a limited income who are all going to be hurt if we do not control spending. item not just talking about small business. the republican party -- nancy pelosi's plan was [video clip] b.n the democrats think we need to raise taxes, and it is going to be taxes on everybody. if we do not stop the spending level going on in washington, we are heading towards being like greece because everyone is going to be taxed and in a position where the federal government is going to be in the position where we cannot provide the services that the government needs to provide to take care of the poor and social security and
8:31am
medicare. host: i know you are going to try to go back home for the holidays. guest: they are having flights but i think they are all full from here to atlanta. we are going to continue to fight to try to put this country back on its fiscal course that is sustainable. that means stopping the outrageous spending that both parties are guilty of. host: we thank you for joining us. there will be a media availability at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. we will have live coverage here on c-span, c-span radio, and c- span.org. coming up in a couple of minutes, we will get the democratic side of the aisle with congressman rick larsen about what is next with the fiscal cliff negotiations.
8:32am
i want to share one photograph with you yesterday. the former senator from kansas saluting for the final time, the casket of the senator. from the rotunda of the u.s. capitol. marking only the 31st time in american history where someone was lying in state. he served 50 years and the u.s. senate as well as -- as well as two terms in the house of representatives. the service will take place here with remarks by president obama getting underway at 10:30 a.m. eastern time on c-span2. the nra news conference, we'll have live coverage from that conference at 10:45 a.m. eastern time here on c-span and also on
8:33am
a website at c-span.org. we will take a short break. "washington journal" continues on this friday, december 21. we will be back in a moment. ♪ >> our first experience was to come in a different way than any other family. it probably will never happen again in history. after that was sworn in, we went to take a picture of the family behind the oval office desk.
8:34am
that night, nixon had left so unexpectedly. they left their daughter and son-in-law to pack all their clothes and belongings. we had to go back to our little hosue in alexandria, virginia. the neighborhood was surrounded by secret service. that night, mom is cooking dinner. we're sitting around the dinner table and mom is cooking dinner. she looks over to my dad and says something's wrong here. [laughter] you just became president of the united states and i am still cooking. >> growing up in the white house, sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-
8:35am
span3. >> i don't want to spoil the book for you to let me just say that the year began with the american republic in grave danger. the union armies were struggling to grow virtually overnight from a few thousand men scattered across the continent to more than half a million. the inexperienced officers thrust into command of these raw volunteers were stymied by the sheer size of the breakaway confederate states of america which covered a space larger than the entire european territory conquered by napoleon. lincoln's closest advisers was secretary of state who said even smart people failed to see the difficulty of the union's task.
8:36am
they did not apprehend the vast extent of the rebellion, as he put it. military operations, to be successful, must be on the scale practically unknown in the art of war. >> the second year of the civil war. 1862 and abraham lincoln's rise to greatness, monday at 8:30 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome democratic congressman rick larsen from washington state. thanks very much for being with us. let me share with you from "the new york times" this morning --
8:37am
what is going to happen? guest: "disarray" is a word i used yesterday as well after we got this announcement. i cannot tell you exactly what will happen but the president's last offer from tuesday is still a good offer. it is still a balanced offer and one that deals with long term deficit reduction. it has tax revenue coming spending cuts, and i think it is the right framework for moving forward. i also think that the democratic party in the house -- you need 218 votes total to pass something. i think we could find easily 109 votes from the democratic party and 109 from the republican party. you could put together enough
8:38am
votes in the house to pass a package that is balanced. host: let me go back to what is in the president's plan. raising taxes on those whose incomes are above $400,000 a year and changing the inflation measure for social security benefits than they do you support that? guest: i personally do not support it but i am going to look at a big package. i think we have to look at what is the best long-term deficit reduction package. on social security, we should start with scrapping the cap. right now we cap how much income weak tax for social security purposes at $110,000. if that is not what we get in the final deal, i am still going
8:39am
to look at the whole deal. democrats have a problem with the cpi. the change in the consumer price index applied to social security. i don't support it. in the end, i think i am going to be shown a long-term deficit- reduction package. one vote that deals with a lot of things and not just one issue. host: let me share with you an editorial from "the wall street journal" --
8:40am
guest: i think that even if we get a big deal by the end of next week -- host: is that even likely? guest: if we do, we'll still be debating taxes and spending into next year even if there is a big deal. none of this goes away in terms of the continuing debate in this country about taxes and spending. is it likely? look, the president has an offer on the table. it is balanced and a long term deficit reduction package. the republicans last night put it to the president and senator harry reid in the senate to negotiate a solution to this. we have been told be ready to come back into session after
8:41am
christmas and before the new year. certainly, someone is leaving some space for a solution whether that is going to be a partial one or a big one. i will say this. my district is 300 miles away from washington, d.c. there are few people between here and washington state who want congress to come back in two months to rehash this all over again. they want a deal now. numbers.'s look at the u and other democrats agreed to entitlement reforms, dealing with medicare and medicaid and social security. if democrats agree to that, with republicans agree to a tax increase? guest: you have to ask republicans that. i think -- frankly, i think
8:42am
there is enough room -- there are enough republicans to get a broader package deal done. but there may not be a majority in the republican party. that is their business. in private conversations with my colleagues, folks -- there is enough of a critical mass to get a bigger deal done. host: why did the speaker's plan b fail last night? what happened? guest: i was not in the room but i think it is a challenge that tea party republicans -- they are not your mother's or father's republican party anymore. folks 30 years ago willing to make compromise without compromising their principles to move big issues forward to get
8:43am
resolved. as a moderate democrat, i think there are a lot of folks -- there are about 52 democrats in the new coalition who make up about a quarter of the democratic caucus. we want to move forward on a big package to get this done. we're looking for partners, all democrats are looking for partners on the other side of the aisle. host: joseph has this on our twitter page -- guest: that sounds about right. based on what i can gather, the president and the speaker in terms of dollar amounts were anywhere from $200 billion to $400 billion. you are talking about a 10-year deal. about a $3.80 trillion budget.
8:44am
we cannot close a $400 billion -- $40 billion per year difference on a $3.80 trillion budget per year? i find that hard to believe that we cannot close that gap. host: another viewer has this to say -- louie is on the phone from arkansas on the democrats' line. good morning. go ahead. caller: can you hear me? i am curious. i paid my taxes from day one. i am 70 years old. i have not overspent my budget. i cannot understand why when the politicians are the ones who
8:45am
overspend, why are the american people the ones who have to pay more taxes to bail them out? why doesn't the president give away half of his salary? i don't understand that. on the gun issue, if you think guns kill people, put a loaded gun on a table and tell that to shoot somebody. it will not hurt anyone unless someone picks it up and pulls the trigger. guest: i will address the first question about congress sacrificing. i am not going to tell you members of congress have made sacrifices or enough sacrifices. the truth is, congress has not seen pay raises. we are subject to the across- the-board cuts. i am not saying that to make an excuse about congress.
8:46am
i think that what we have before us is a great challenge that we need to resolve. it is going to be wrapped up, i hope, in a solution that is balanced that includes spending cuts, new revenue, but also protect key vestments in higher education, opportunities for our young adults, investment in infrastructure that creates jobs, investment in basic research which the private sector takes to create new products and innovation. while we are putting together a balanced approach, we have to be sure we maintain these things that the private sector takes and turns into something better with innovation which creates jobs in this country. that is the best long-term approach that i think is best
8:47am
for the country. in 10 years if we do this right, we will be a stronger country for it. we will have a sustainable budget and frankly we will be the envy of every other country in the world. host: from our facebook page, there is this comment -- guest: if you cut $3 trillion in spending now, if i get this right from that person, that will leave the federal budget at about $800 billion which is only about $250 billion more than the pentagon budget is today. if they are talking about a long-term $3 trillion debt as a production package over 10 years, i am one of the few members of congress who voted
8:48am
for a $4 trillion deficit reduction package over 10 years. i am not that far off from agreeing with the person who posted on facebook, but i do not think you get there with spending cuts alone. it takes revenue and spending cuts. spending cuts meeting as well as reductions in spending growth in some programs. host: we will go to the victor from ohio on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. can you hear me? good morning, congressman. one of the things i wanted to say it was i was a voter in the democrat party. the reason why i switched was simply because of conditions in the inner cities across this country. my problem with all of this is we are spending way too much
8:49am
money. i am responsible to go to work and bring home a paycheck knowing that spending more what i'm bringing in. that is the problem with the government. they want to spend money like it is readily available without any consequences. if we are spending $200 billion a month -- over $300 billion amount in expenditures, we are running a $1.20 trillion deficit every year. that is unsustainable. we need to get under that $200 million in tax revenues that we collect every month because at the end of the day, this is poor stewardship. there is not one family or business that can operate the way our federal government is
8:50am
operating. it is absolutely criminal in my mind then they think. guest: i hear your frustration and the same frustration from folks in my district as well. i think it is helpful to recognize that if we are carrying a $1.20 trillion deficit every year, that is as you said unsustainable over the long term. that is why it is important that we take a long term, balanced approach to deficit reduction. it is not a deficit that is going to be closed in one budget. it is a deficit that can be reduced over the next 10 years with a long-term approach. you get to the point where the economy is actually growing faster than the debt that you are accumulating. that is the definition of a sustainable budget.
8:51am
it may not get to where a lot of folks seem to want to go where it is a perfectly balanced budget but it is certainly a sustainable budget. over the long term we would have done what no country today is doing. we would have taken care of our fiscal house. that is the definition of fiscal responsibility. host: our conversation with congressman rick larsen.. you can also send us your comments on our facebook page. one of our viewers saying -- guest: i would certainly agree with the idea that there is a group of tea party republicans who are forcing the republicans to go over the fiscal cliff into a chasm of what i think is
8:52am
fiscal responsibilit irresponsibility. it seems where that is where the new tea party wants to take us. i hope i am wrong. i hope the president's last offer from tuesday -- if we can start from there, there may be time to get something done. we would have to move very quickly and members of congress would have to come back to washington, d.c., but we should because we have work to do. host: sean says -- was this a wasted week or is this part of the process? guest: history will define whether it was wasted or part of
8:53am
the process. i have been in the house of representatives for 12 years and there have been times where the majority whether republicans or democrats -- they have to go through these hoops to get to where you need to be. maybe this is one of those times. it sure seems to me that the last three days have been wasted time when negotiation could have continued rather than walking away from the table and walking away from washington, d.c. host: tony is on the phone on our democrats' line. good morning. are you there? we will try one more time for tony. will go on to kansas. phone.lin is on the phonis on e caller: the constitution gives
8:54am
congress the right to coin our money. the treasury still does that, but congress almost 100 years ago outsourced the value of credits to a banking cartel in the name of the federal reserve. in two dyas, the 23rd is the 99- year contract the federal reserve is up. if we look at it. at least half if not two-thirds of our debt in this country is owed to the private banking cartel that owns the federal reserve bank. we pay the interest to create our own money. in terms of the fiscal cliff metaphor, what we have is a group of people who rob the bank in a car, congress decided to
8:55am
jump in the backseat, headed towards a cliff, the american people are on horses chasing behind, but the value is in the american people and our government. we should not renew their contracts. host: thank you for the call. this comment from one of our viewers -- your response? guest: with regard to the federal reserve, i respectfully disagree with your analogy and your description of the federal reserve. if folks out there listening this morning think congress would do a better job of monetary policy given how we're handling this policy currently, i would love to hear from you because congress is not and should not be in a position to
8:56am
handle monetary policy. having an independent federal reserve is extremely important for the financial credibility of the united states. if this contract is up on the 23rd, i think we ought to renew it. the second thing i will point out from the gentleman on facebook or e-mail, the united states is not broke. we're not broke. we are paying our bills. what we need to do is ensure the long-term fiscal credibility of this country is still strong. that takes a long term deficit reduction package that is balanced, sends a clear signal to the markets and investors whether they are private, institutions, or other countries that america does take care of its fiscal house. that is what we need to do in my
8:57am
view to ensure the long-term fiscal credibility of the united states. the whole idea that america is broke, i am not going to relay that message to anybody. host: good morning. can you hear me? can you hear me? insist on raising the social security cap? why is that your knee-jerk reaction rather than increasing the severity of means testing? that would be much more fruitful way to deal with the program. same thing could be said for medicare. you should explain to the people that the democrats do not want to do that because then there is a chance that the program will be viewed as a welfare program, and welfare programs do not have any support up on capitol hill.
8:58am
they are afraid the limits will be dropped and drop and drop until there is no support for the program at all. second of all, i think it is a good idea to go off the fiscal cliff because then the american people will understand you want all this stuff from your government, all of this interstate highway system, free medicare, social security benefits, airports, high-speed rail, you have to pay for them. then we will see just how eager people are to have this big government. third of all, concerning the debt ceiling debate, i am looking at the constitution, article 1 section 8, line 2. the congress should have power to borrow money on the credit of the united states. congressman, you and i both know
8:59am
that the president does not have the right as per the constitution to raise the debt limit of the united states unilaterally. when it comes to this issue of global default, if that was the case states all over the country would have defaulted. what has happened was when they were not able to raise taxes or any more money, the secretary of the treasury for each of the state's has had to make a choice. do we end up defaulting on our loans to creditors or do we have to budget our income appropriately? that has what has been happening across the country. pensions have had to be rescheduled and budgets have had to be cut. that is the way it goes. guest: thank you for the question. with regards to the debt with regards to the debt ceiling,